09/12/2004 11:00PM

BC Classic is next for Ghostzapper

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Ghostzapper (left), ridden by Javier Castellano, battles Saint Liam and Edgar Prado in the stretch of Saturday's Woodward Stakes.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Despite an arduous stretch drive, which featured a few body bumps, both Ghostzapper and Saint Liam have come out of Saturday's stirring Woodward Stakes in good shape and will now be pointed to the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Lone Star Park on Oct. 30.

Neither horse will run before then, the connections of both confirmed on Monday. While Ghostzapper - whose neck victory over Saint Liam kept him unbeaten in three starts this year - will definitely make the field, Saint Liam could be in need of help should the Classic oversubscribe at pre-entry time, Oct. 18.

Fourteen horses are permitted in the body of the field. The top seven get in automatically on points accrued in graded stakes races. A Breeders' Cup panel, which consists of racing secretaries and directors from North America and Europe, select the next seven. The rest are placed on an also-eligible list until entries are taken on Oct. 27.

Saint Liam, trained by Richard Dutrow Jr., has yet to win a stakes race this year, but was beaten a head by Peace Rules in the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap and a neck by Ghostzapper in the Woodward. Saint Liam is unlikely to make the Classic field based on points.

Dutrow would like to run Saint Liam in the Classic because, he said Monday, "I think he belongs with those kind."

Though Saint Liam had not run since April 3, Dutrow would not blame the colt's bearing out in the stretch on getting tired or on prior foot problems that forced him to miss the last five months.

"I don't think it's got anything to do with him getting tired because he started getting out leaving the gate," Dutrow said. "It's something me and him have got to figure out before his next race. I don't know what it is."

Meanwhile, Frankel said Ghostzapper "seems fine" following his Woodward victory, his seventh win from nine career starts. Though Ghostzapper's Beyer Speed Figure of 114 for the Woodward was 14 points below the 128 he earned for his Iselin score, Frankel felt Ghostzapper ran an equally impressive race. His final time of 1:46.38 was among the top five fastest Woodwards ever run.

"If the other horse is not in the race, he wins by 10 lengths," Frankel said. "Maybe Saint Liam ran the race of his life."

Ghostzapper is a son of Awesome Again, who in 1998 won the Breeders' Cup Classic to complete a perfect 6-for-6 campaign. Still, the Eclipse Award for handicap horse and Horse of the Year went to Skip Away.

Frankel said he believes if Ghostzapper wins the Classic, he'll earn the divisional championship.

"Without a doubt," Frankel said. "Any horse that's got good form going into the Breeders Cup, if they win the Breeders' Cup they get the championship. They couldn't give it Pleasantly Perfect [last year] because he only ran one good race."

Peace Rules going to Jockey Club Gold Cup

After coughing and developing mucus in his lungs that knocked him out of next Sunday's Atto Mile, Peace Rules will be pointed to the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup here on Oct. 2, Frankel confirmed Monday.

Frankel said a handful of horses were coughing at his Belmont Park barn, and they all had varying degrees of mucus. Though Peace Rules went to the track on Monday morning, Frankel didn't feel comfortable shipping him to Canada.

Peace Rules won the Suburban here in July going 1 1/4 miles, the same distance as the Jockey Club Gold Cup. Funny Cide, the third-place finisher in the Suburban, and Evening Attire, the 2002 Jockey Club Gold Cup winner and recent victor over Funny Cide in the Saratoga Breeders' Cup, are two of the other horses being mentioned for the Gold Cup.

With the Hawthorne Gold Cup on Oct. 2, the Goodwood Handicap also Oct. 2, and the Meadowlands Cup on Oct. 8, Frankel said the Jockey Club Gold Cup "can't be that tough."

Loving right back on short rest

Among Dutrow's seven winners at five tracks last week was Loving, who won the $75,000 Owners Day Handicap at Delaware Park. That race was run at nine furlongs on dirt.

Dutrow plans on wheeling Loving back Wednesday in a $75,000 claiming race at 1 1/4 miles on turf at Belmont. Loving was beaten a neck in a $50,000 claimer on turf on Aug. 27 at Saratoga.

"He's going to run," Dutrow said. "The distance helps us. Anybody who wants to pay $75,000 at this point, we'll take it. The stakes he won Saturday was a joke. There wasn't anything in there I'd pay $50,000 for."

Dutrow, who went 7 for 15 last week, is also wheeling Torre and Zim back on four days' rest. Torre and Zim won a $25,000 claiming race going six furlongs on Saturday. Wednesday, he's in for the same price going seven furlongs.

Biancone weighs options for Magistretti

Trainer Patrick Biancone would like to run Man o' War winner Magistretti in the Breeders' Cup Turf, but he is not sure if will run him again before then. Magistretti unleashed a powerful closing kick to win the Man o' War four weeks after finishing third (moved to second via disqualification) in the Arlington Million.

"I really need to assess the situation," Biancone said Monday from Keeneland, where he was attending the yearling sales.

Biancone said he is considering the Turf Classic at Belmont on Oct. 2 or Sycamore Breeders' Cup Stakes at Keeneland Oct. 9.

"Sometimes, when they run here from Europe they're good for the first 30 or 40 days then they back up," Biancone said. "Everybody wants to make the Breeders' Cup."

Meanwhile, Biancone is getting ready for what could be a big weekend with his juvenile division. Sense of Style, the Spinaway winner, worked four furlongs in 48.06 seconds Sunday morning at Saratoga in preparation for next Sunday's Grade 1 Matron Stakes. It was the fastest of 34 works at the distance.

Biancone also said Monday that he might wheel Scipion back in Sunday's Grade 2 Futurity. Scipion finished third in the Grade 3 Cradle Stakes at River Downs on Sept. 6. Biancone said he would work Scipion at Saratoga on Thursday before making a final decision.